Kangaroo Jack

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Kangaroo Jack
A kangaroo wearing sunglasses and read Brooklyn jacket
Theatrical release poster
Directed by David McNally
Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer
Written by Steve Bing
Barry O' Brien
Scott Rosenberg
Music by Trevor Rabin
Cinematography Peter Menzies Jr.
Edited by John Murray
William Goldenberg
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release dates
  • January 17, 2003 (2003-01-17) (USA)
  • May 16, 2003 (2003-05-16) (UK)
Running time
89 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $60 million
Box office $88,929,111

Kangaroo Jack is a 2003 American-Australian buddy-action comedy film from Warner Bros., written by Steve Bing, Barry O' Brien and Scott Rosenberg, directed by David McNally, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer with music by Trevor Rabin and starring Jerry O'Connell, Anthony Anderson, Christopher Walken, Estella Warren and Adam Garcia. Kangaroo Jack was theatrically released on January 17, 2003 by Warner Bros.. An animated children's sequel, titled Kangaroo Jack: G'Day U.S.A.!, was produced and released on video in 2004. The film was panned by critics. Critics overall expressed dislike for the film's acting, directing, length, writing and humor inappropriate for a film aimed at children. It received a rating of 8% on Rotten Tomatoes and it earned $88,929,111 on a $60 million budget. Kangaroo Jack was released on DVD and VHS on June 24, 2003 by Warner Home Video.


In 1982, a boy named Charlie Carbone (Robert Reid) is about to become the stepson of a mobster named Salvatore Maggio (Christopher Walken). On that same day, he meets his new best friend, Louis Booker (Shawn Smith), who saves him from drowning, and the mobster's apprentice Frankie Lombardo (Brian Casey), who was recently released from juvenile hall and tried to drown Charlie intentionally.

Twenty years later in 2002, Charlie (Jerry O'Connell) has his own beauty salon, and Louis (Anthony Anderson) is still his best friend, but Sal's Goons take a majority of the profit leaving Charlie very little for improvements. After they botch the job of hiding some stolen goods, resulting in some of Sal's men getting arrested, Sal gives Charlie and Louis one more chance. Under instructions from Frankie (Michael Shannon), they have to deliver a package to Australia to a man named Mr. Smith. Frankie also tells them that should they run into trouble, they should call Mr. Smith at the phone number he gives them. Unknown to Charlie and Louis, Sal tells his Capo that he is "cancelling their return trip."

Once on the plane Louis peeks into the package, to find $50,000 in cash.

On their way to Mr. Smith, they run over a kangaroo. Louis puts his "lucky jacket" on the kangaroo and with Charlie's sunglasses, they think the kangaroo looks like Jackie Legs, one of Sal's goons. The kangaroo then regains consciousness and hops away, but there is one problem: the $50,000 was in the jacket. Charlie and Louis are having their own revenge, they hop into the jeep and attempt to grab the money from the jacket on the kangaroo but the ensuing chase ends with the duo running into a field of termite mounds and crashing into a pile of rocks. At a nearby bar, Louis manages to call Mr. Smith (Marton Csokas) and tell him about the situation. Mr. Smith tells Louis that they had better have his money when he comes after them, which he does.

Back in New York, Salvatore gets a call from Mr. Smith saying that Charlie and Louis haven't arrived yet. Salvatore sends Frankie and some men to Australia to look into it.

Meanwhile, one of the attempts to reclaim the money strands Charlie and Louis in the desert. They finally get help from a woman named Jessie (Estella Warren) to help them catch the kangaroo at the nearest valley.

Quite unexpectedly, they get attacked by Mr. Smith and his henchmen. Charlie and Louis outsmart them, only to find Frankie joining the battle.

After getting the money back from the kangaroo, they learn from Frankie that Sal really sent them to Australia to pay for their own execution, but all of a sudden, police come at the right moment and arrest Frankie, Mr. Smith, and their henchmen and Charlie reclaims Louis's lucky jacket from the kangaroo.

One year later, Charlie and Jessie are married and sell their new shampoo, Frankie and his men have been imprisoned for life, which Sal has failed at avoiding. Louis is Charlie's advertising partner. As for the kangaroo (called Kangaroo Jack), he is still hopping around the outback.



Initially the film's screenplay was titled "Down and Out" and was described as a mafia comedy in the style of Midnight Run.[2] The film was shot in Austrailia in August 2001, however when the producers saw test footage they realized that the film as it was cut didn't work.[2] Inspired by early test screenings and the marketing campaign behind the recently released Snow Dogs,[2] The production shifted the marketing focus away from that of a mafia comedy movie to that of an animal picture. New footage was shot including replacing the animatronic kangaroo with a new CGI one and getting him to rap and the film was edited to be much more family friendly.[2]


Theatrical release[edit]

Kangaroo Jack was theatrically released on January 17, 2003 by Warner Bros..

Home media[edit]

Kangaroo Jack was released on DVD and VHS on June 24, 2003 by Warner Home Video.


Critical response and box office[edit]

Jerry O'Connell was praised by critics for his performance.

The film was released on January 17, 2003 and grossed $16,580,209 over the 3-day MLK opening weekend, and $21,895,483 over the 4-day MLK weekend, ranking No. 1 that weekend. It grossed $66,934,963 at the North American domestic box office and $21,994,148 internationally for a worldwide total of $88,929,111. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a rating of 8% based on 113 reviews, with an average score of 3.2 out of 10, Joe McGovern in the Village Voice described Kangaroo Jack as "witless" and stated "The colorless script...seems to have written itself from a patchwork of Wile E. Coyote cartoons, camel farts, and every high-pitched Aussie cliché to have echoed on these shores". [3] Nathan Rabin, reviewing the film for the AV Club, remarked "Kangaroo Jack's premise, trailer, and commercials promise little more than the spectacle of two enthusiastic actors being kicked over and over again by a sassy, computer-animated kangaroo—and, sadly, the film fails to deliver even that."[4] Gary Slaymaker in the British newspaper The Western Mail said "Kangaroo Jack is the most witless, pointless, charmless drivel unleashed on an unsuspecting public".[5]


For their performances, Anthony Anderson and Christopher Walken were both nominated for Worst Supporting Actor at the 2004 Golden Raspberry Awards, but they lost to Sylvester Stallone for Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over. The Australian newspaper The Age included Kangaroo Jack on its list of "worst films ever made".[6] Jerry Bruckheimer started working exclusively with Disney following the release of Bad Boys II six months later.[clarification needed]

Organization Year Award Category Nominee Result
Kids' Choice Awards 2004 Blimp Award Favorite Fart in a Movie Jerry O'Connell Won
MTV Movie Awards 2003 MTV Movie Award Best Virtual Performance For "Kangaroo Jack". Jerry O'Connell Nominated
Razzie Awards 2004 Razzie Award Worst Supporting Actor Christopher Walken For Gigli and Anthony Anderson Nominated
Teen Choice Awards 2003 Teen Choice Award Choice Movie Actor - Comedy Jerry O'Connell and Anthony Anderson Nominated


The soundtrack was released by Hip-O Records on January 14, 2003.

  1. DJ Ötzi - "Hey Baby"
  2. Sugababes - "Round Round"
  3. Soft Cell - "Tainted Love"
  4. Lucia - "So Clever"
  5. Paulina Rubio - "Casanova"
  6. Shaggy - "Hey Sexy Lady"
  7. Shawn Desman - "Spread My Wings"
  8. Lil' Romeo - "2-Way"
  9. The Wiseguys - "Start the Commotion"
  10. The Sugarhill Gang - "Rapper's Delight"
  11. Men at Work - "Down Under"
  12. The Dude - "Rock Da Juice"


An animated sequel, Kangaroo Jack: G'Day U.S.A.!, was released direct-to-video on November 16, 2004.


  1. ^ http://www.bbfc.co.uk/releases/kangaroo-jack-2003
  2. ^ a b c d Patrick, Goldstien. "How 'Jack' hopped away with a PG rating". Los Angelis Times. Retrieved 13 November 2015. 
  3. ^ Joe McGovern, "Kangaroo Jack". Village Voice. January 18, 2003. Retrieved January 17, 2014.
  4. ^ Nathan Rabin, "Kangaroo Jack". The AV Club. January 27, 2003. Retrieved January 17, 2014.
  5. ^ Gary Slaymaker, The Western Mail, May 16, 2003, (p.2)
  6. ^ Lawrie Zion, "Home Movies". The Age, September 11, 2003. (p.7)

External links[edit]